Orcadian Driftwood

Tim & Maggie

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We have collected these tunes over 20 years - some of them during our trips to visit family in Orkney, Scotland. Most are well known to Appalachian Old-Time Musicians. These tunes were sometimes sung (Rosalyn Castle supposedly by Scot Redcoats as they surrendered in Yorktown) sometimes danced (like the jigs), and sometimes parts of method books (The Girl I Left Behind Me was in an English flute method book in the 1500s, then an Irish song book, then a US Civil War song.) Some have had multiple titles (Lord MacDonald's Reel = Leather Britches). Some were composed by classical players (Farewell to Whisky by Niel Gow(1727-1807)). Some are just fun (The Hen’s March to the Midden from Shetland). All are fascinating. The division between Classical and Pop is a modern invention of the music marketing industry. People have always played what they like without regard to origin or social category. Many of these melodies come to us from the 17th Century when Europeans held the art of Music and its various styles in high esteem as a public function. JS Bach (1685-1750) borrowed tunes from Italy, France, England and common folk for court and church, though he never left a one-hundred mile radius in Thuringia, Germany. Francesco Geminiani (1687-1762) took his Italian style to Dublin and influenced Irish and Scottish folk tunes for generations to come – in particular harpist Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738). Tim has written 18th Cent. style counterpoint for the interplay between banjo and flute as each in turn accompanies the other in a style that would be familiar to those musicians. This was an era of imigration to the New World, and this musical styling has endured in Appalachia for a long time and become associated with the region. In addition to Flute, Maggie plays Penny Whistles, Shuttle Pipes and Bodhran drum. Tim plays Banjo, Bazouki, Banjola and Viol. We hope you enjoy this music as much as we do. The tunes have come to us over the centuries in bits and pieces as snippets of melody and rhythms for dancing, marching, or singing all mixed in together. It is much like the driftwood that flows to shore from far flung places.
-Tim and Maggie

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Tim & Maggie biked across Orkney.

Maggie carried a backpack with clothes; Tim carried a backpack with instruments.

This was Maggie's view when Tim had the lead.

Tim & Maggie biked across Orkney.

Maggie carried a backpack with clothes; Tim carried a backpack with instruments.

This was Maggie's view when Tim had the lead.